Popovich on Leonard trade: It's time to move on
Shortly after the Spurs announced a blockbuster trade that would send disgruntled Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich opened up about the move.
The trade, which included sending Leonard and Danny Green to Toronto in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, third-year center Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 draft pick, was one that took more than a month to reach as speculation around Leonard's future swirled.
Popovich put to rest some of the speculation as he spoke to reporters about the trade on Wednesday and actually praised Leonard's performance while he was in San Antonio. However, he also indicated it was time to move on and that he was excited to build a team with new players.
"[Leonard] was a hard worker all the time and we wish him well but at this point it's time to move on," Popovich said, via MySanAntonio.com. "In no way, shape or form does it do good to go back in time and talk about A, B and C. It's time to move on."
"At this point my main interest is to not look back. I'm thrilled to have DeMar and Jakob join us, from this point on that's where my focus will be," he said. "I'm not interested in talking about the past."
Popovich went on to explain that he and Leonard had conversations over the summer about the latter's future with the franchise, but making a trade was the team's best option.
"We talked often over the summer about a lot of different things, both on and off the court," Popovich said. "Attempts were made to see what would be best and in the end this trade appeared and we felt that this was the way to go."